Running EC2 spot instances

or ‘ Save ultimately more money with AWS’

I use EC2 instances for test, development, demo and also for deployment to production. Amazon offers different types of instances, ranging from a micro instance (613 MB Ram and 2 CPU units) to a full fledge Cluster Compute Quadruple Extra Large Instance (60GB RAM and 33 CPU units). Of course a different price and paid per hour usage, available anytime.

All on demand Linux instances (Singapore):

  • Micro instance: U$ 0.02 per hour
  • Medium instance: U$ 0.34 per hour
  • High Mem/CPU instance: U$ 2.024 per hour

On top of this there are 3 different categories of instances (in contractual terms)

Some price comparison for a m1.Large instance we use for testing (7,5GB RAM and 4 CPU units)

  • On Demand (any time without any contractual obligations, we are using them currently)
    $0.340 per Hour > 1 month U$ 244.80 (fulltime 24h)
  • Reserved Instance (1 year term, one time payment U$ 276.00)
    U$ 0.196 per Hour > 1 month U$ 141.12 (3 months: U$ 699.36 vs on-demand U$ 734.40, 12 months: U$ 1969.44 vs. on-demand U$ 2937.60 = ~30% savings )
  • Spot Instance (depends on availability, you bid on a price range, if price exceeds your limit your instance shuts down)
    U$ 0.04 per Hour (as of December 5th 2012) > 1 month U$ 28.80

The spot instance, almost at 10% of the on-demand price, is extremely attractive and I am using it as test server.
Not suitable for production or demo purpose though.

The reserved instance starts to break even after 3 months full-time usage !

In order not to pay for instances running idle (at night, weekend) they auto-shutdown and the user can start them in a self provision fashion (for test, demo or training).

Interesting enough, the price fluctuation is very different in the AWS regions. Lets look at a m1.large instance type in the Ireleand  versus Singapore datacentre.

AWS Ireland

AWS Ireland

 

AWS Singapore

AWS Singapore

Obviously Singapore customers are not into this bidding concept, it remains permanently at 4cts while for Ireland the price jumps up to several Dollars !

More information at:

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